Sunday, 26 August 2012

S1 Ep. 26: Thomas' Christmas Party + Overall of S1



Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:

After saving Thomas from a landslide last Christmas, Thomas and his friends wanted to throw Mrs Kyndley a special Christmas party to say thank you to her. But the weather changed and Mrs. Kyndley was snowed up at her house and so Thomas and Toby had gone and rescue her. After the rescue operation, Thomas and Toby took Mrs Kyndley to the sheds, but the yard was dark, but the lights were turned on and the sheds were all decorated with Christmas decorations.

- The Christmas hats were nice feature on the characters.

- Why did the weather changed in one day?

I sometime watch this episode on Christmas and this is one of my favourites from my childhood. The snow looked real, the decorations were great, something that gives that great Christmas feeling. But sometimes I have a feeling that this episode was a little rushed where was the book by the Rev.W.Awdry, which was published so this episode could be made due to a contradiction agreement by the publishers of the Railway Series books, shows that it happens on Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day. They could've kept the story as an extended TV special at the time. In the book, a snow storm was made and on Boxing Day, Thomas and Toby have to save the Kyndley's, heck, it even made it to the Ladybird book. But in the episode, the engines were making plans and then the Fat Controller says, the weather had changed badly, yet we see no snowstorm or anything. 

Though at least Thomas had matured about wearing his snowplough and even though he hated snow, he still knew that rescuing the Kyndley's is more important. I do love the Christmas decoration setting at the sheds and even though the hats could be unsafe due to the fact a steam engine can burn it, its a nice feature. But its a shame that they left out Mr. Kyndley, the husband. 

I know that this episode is set after 'Mrs Kyndley's Christmas', but I believe that was never adapted due to the fact that there was never any snow or trees or anything to set at Christmas. As much as I like to see those around the Christmas period, I do understand that you don't really need them to fit a Christmas story, but it would be nice to see an episode of the story. 

With this episode, I enjoy, despite the feeling that it was a little rushed. I love watching it, when I have a chance, to get into the Christmas spirit and what you know this post was made on the 25th, exactly four months to the day. 

Rating: 4/5


And so we now come to the Overall. I have to say, the series is very different towards the second series. The stories are simple and sweet, their are less crashes and more character development and some of the models do look like their RWS counterpart, minus a few. Henry's model, like I said, is like his old shape, but upside down. Annie and Clarabel look nothing like their RWS counterparts, they're bogey coaches and in the show we see them as small coaches, but I do understand the show was in its early days. But despite the errors, the early model series will be the ones that I cherished. Memories of old would flood back to the time I was watching these episodes all the time when I buy or rent the videos and even seeing them on TV. I wish the TV stations would play these episodes to show a young generation the glory years of Thomas. 

Now on with the music, I'm saying this, but I believe Britt Allcroft had chosen the right people to play the music. Whenever you mention the show, people will remember the theme song. It's catchy and memorable. Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell had made catchy themes for the show and its characters and I love hearing them more. It's a shame that with shows like 'Postman Pat', 'Bertha' and 'Fireman Sam', all had records out with the show's music, yet, Thomas never even got one. But at least we have the extended theme song.

Now we come towards the narration of the show. When you hear a question on a show or trivia night or even mention about Thomas the Tank Engine, the first person that comes to mind is Ringo Starr, who was part of the greatest rock 'n' roll band of all time, which I'm a fan of, 'The Beatles'. Although, I do love his narration in Series 2. Here, its more of a bed time kind of storytelling, a format that Britt Allcroft wanted, according to her in the Australian radio interview on ABC in 2009. Ringo has gone down as one of my favourite narrators for the show as when you're watching him nowadays, he brings a charm towards the story. 

The stories, some were good and some were not too perfect, but that doesn't mean I hate them. Their are episodes that are focused on the Railway Series stories and their are some that were not in the books or some that Britt Allcroft and David Mitton put something in themselves. But without the episodes, the books would never be sold to entertain a new generation of fans, I haven't read the books until I was seven in 1998 as my first book was 'Oliver the Western Engine'.

Now on with the filming, the late David Mitton had gone down as one of my favourite film makers after seeing this series. He may not be well known as Martian Scorsese, but he will always go down as a legend to the Thomas fan base. I love his camera work and if it weren't for him and the late Angus Wright, Awdry's Railway Series stories would never be seen on the small screen. 


Be sure to check out my reviews on Season 2 episodes. I hope you've enjoy the Series 1 reviews.